Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

Service Level Commitments

Service Level Commitment for Cornell University

College of Agriculture & Life Science


I. Overview and Context

II. Information Technology (IT) support in CALS is provided through the CALS Office of Information Technology (CALS-OIT) by teams of IT professionals, working in service areas. CALS-OIT is comprised of two service areas in Ithaca, one service area in Geneva, an AV/Teaching support team, and an engineering/research support component. Specifics for department support can be found here. Support teams consist of an IT Manager overseeing technical staff that may include full-time, part-time, interns, and student employees. Support teams also cooperate in a larger college-wide group to pool skills and resources to solve college-wide IT issues.

Funding for support of the actions and activities laid out in this document will be provided by the CALS Dean’s office except where such actions and activities are department-specific and/or are described in service area addendums (see section IX.)

II. CALS OIT Support Services

CALS coordinates & manages a number of centralized services to aid in providing IT support to all service areas. These include:

  1. Cornell University Active Directory

  2. Workstation security policy in accordance with University policy

  3. Automated patching for Windows & MAC

  4. Managed antivirus including updates and reporting

  5. Security scanning (routine and upon request)

  6. Security awareness training

  7. Business continuity planning and risk assessment upon request

  8. Consultations for procurement of hardware and software

  9. AV and teaching support

  10. Video conferencing

  11. Data Security – Encryption, Sensitive Data, PCI – ID Finder (PII)

  12. BYOD (Bring your own device)

  13. Networking & telecom

III. Priorities and Response Times

Response to requests will be handled as quickly as possible given the situation. Response times below refer to the expected time by which initial contact with a support team member will be made, and assume a full complement of IT staff, and normal business hours.

  1. Critical – business critical service down or large number of users affected, response time: immediate, other projects may be placed on hold. In order for an issue to remain at the critical level, the requester must be available for consultation if deemed necessary by the IT support staff. Critical requests must be communicated in person or over the phone.

  2. Normal – localized problem affecting normal work, response time 4 hours.

IV. Supported Systems

  1. Hardware and Software that is to be supported under this Service Level Commitment must meet the criteria listed on this page.

  2. Off-campus support
    Support staff will attempt to resolve minor issues with Cornell-owned computer equipment off-campus by remote access and/or phone support. If remote support isn’t feasible problems will be resolved by the user bringing the computer to campus. IT staff will not go to non-Cornell-owned locations to provide support.

  3. Networking & Telephone - In order to avoid potential widespread network problems:

  4. Support team members will be tasked with planning, purchasing, installing, and managing network equipment not managed by CIT. Recommendations will meet industry standards. Decisions to utilize other solutions will be the sole responsibility of CALS-OIT.

  5. All networking projects will meet building codes and campus policies.

  6. CALS-OIT assigns and tracks IP addresses (or manage dynamic lists) on CALS-OIT managed subnets.

  7. CALS-OIT acts as a liaison with CIT for all centrally supported networking issues

  8. The only supported wireless infrastructure is Eudroam/Redrover.

  9. Telecom requests in Ithaca are the responsibility the department telecom coordinator. Telecom requests at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station are the responsibility of CALS-OIT.

V. Secure Computing

Cornell policy 5.10 states that “Cornell University expects all individuals using information technology devices connected to the Cornell network to take appropriate measures to manage the security of those devices.” In order to protect university systems, networks and data, it is critical that secure computing practices be followed. A breach on one person’s computer can affect many people, causing loss of time and resources, and possibly loss of confidential data with widespread ramifications.

  1. All systems receiving support from CALS-OIT must be in compliance with the Cornell policies:

  2. Cornell IT Policies are available here.

  3. It is the responsibility of all faculty and staff to familiarize themselves with these documents.

VI. Data Backup

  1. The only supported backup solution for CALS data is EZ-Backup.

  2.  EZ-Backup FAQs

  3. For more information or to sign up please submit a request.

  4. All computer systems that support the administration of the college must be backed up using EZ-Backup.

  5. File share services (e.g. SFS) provided by service areas should not considered viable backup alternatives for Cornell University data unless the share is also backed up.

VII. Software Licensing

  1. All software must be properly licensed.

  2. End-users who procure and/or install their own software are solely responsible for the legality of said software.

  3. Departments/units track and are responsible for software licensing.

VIII. Service Level Commitment Exceptions

Exceptions to the Service Level Commitment will be recorded in SharePoint and will be provided annually to Department Chairs and Managers for review.

  1. Exceptions may expand upon or further clarify certain core elements as they relate to business needs and available resources.

  2. Exceptions may reduce the amount of service provided as outlined in this document.

  3. Exceptions may modify security elements in the core document only with consultation with the CALS Security Officer.

  4. Funding for activities and resources in exceptions will be provided by the department.

  5. Exception documentation will detail the necessity of the exception, risks incurred, and releases CALS- OIT from responsibility for the stated risks generated by the exception.

IX. Opting out of this Service Level Commitment

  1. Single systems or groups may opt out of this service level commitment.

  2. Anyone opting out of this service level commitment forgoes all support and resources provided by


  3. CALS-OIT will be released from all responsibility related to management of these situations.

  4. These exceptions will be documented and all reviewed by department chair and Department Managers


X. Overall Structure of the CALS Office of Information

  1. IT Reporting lines are available here.

  2. CALS-OIT Staff Directory

  3. Org Chart